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“Good but” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Empire Hotel & Country Club

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The Empire Hotel & Country Club
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Jerudong, Kampong Jerudong BG3122, Brunei Darussalam   |  
Hotel amenities
Dachau, Germany
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Good but”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2013

Insgesamt gut man mß aber weite Wege gehen oder mit Cart fahren lassen
Lamm in Restaurant war excellent
Lage am Meer ist gut wenn man Zimmer mit Meerblick hat
In total good however long distances to walk or use cart services
Lamb in restaurant was excellent

Stayed December 2013, traveled on business
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheEmpireHotel, General Manager at The Empire Hotel & Country Club, responded to this review, December 31, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review, which I was pleased to see.

Indeed this is a large property, with spacious accommodation in four buildings, and I can appreciate your comment. Perhaps I could suggest that you reserve a Deluxe bedroom in the Atrium for your future visits?

I'm glad that you enjoyed the lamb and I hope you have the chance to try our other restaurants on your next stay.

Sincerely,
Nigel Badminton
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Basingstoke, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2013

I was at the Empire Hotel for a business trip and the local office had booked us all in the Empire Hotel which has been used by us before.

The hotel is certainly grand looking, the main lobby enjoys spectacular views over a vast atrium and out to the South |China Sea. The décor however proves that money does not always equal taste, there was more than a passing touch of "Trafford Centre" about some areas!! Checking in was a little rough, I was told that my room was not ready and that I would have to wait, this despite arriving at nearly 6pm! In the end, the only issue was the lack of pillowcases!

My room was 3419 and was a Deluxe room located on the fourth floor of the main building's West Wing, with access to the E-club lounge on the 6th.

The room was nice, large with a small, separated dressing area and a huge bathroom with large walk-in shower cubicle and toilet cubicle. The bath itself looked small though. The room had a balcony but rather than the Ocean View I had been expecting, I looked out onto a small bay. The room was comfortable and well appointed, an unusual touch being the all-in-one control panel by the bed that contained a clock, alarm, world-time and control buttons for the air-conditioning, curtains, lights and do-not-disturb sign. Be warned though, the alarm clock sounds like a smoke alarm when it goes off! The air conditioning, despite the control panel, had one setting "Very Cold" and I frequently had to switch it off at night or ensure it was on the lowest setting. The bed was firm and comfortable. The TV was a huge new Samsung Smart TV, but was not connected so none of the on-line features worked. In room Wi-Fi was reasonably good.

The hotel itself is very, very large, so be prepared to walk! It has very nice grounds around the seafront and beach areas.

I ate a few times in the hotel, for dinner I ate twice in the Atrium Cafe and once in the Pantai seafood restaurant. The former was OK but nothing spectacular, the latter was good once we had got past the staff at the entrance who seemed determined to dissuade us from eating there! They fed us tales of having to wait for ages as they were attending to a private function and that they were really busy. In reality the restaurant was nearly empty and the food arrived very quickly.

The E-Club on the 6th Floor was a great facility though. Relatively small, but they provided good breakfasts and delicious (if a little haphazard) afternoon teas. Special praise is reserved for Dennis and Jesus, two of the staff up there who could not do enough to make you feel welcome and help out. Most of the lounge is in dining set up, though there is a small area which is a converted guest bedroom which has sofa seating and a desk & computer for internet access if needed.

However, it all went wrong at check-out time. I had ordered a late check-out, but made plans with a colleague to go shopping before we both flew hope. When the time came for my colleague to check-out, reception was bedlam, absolutely overwhelmed with new guests and the staff could not cope at all. The plan had been for my colleague to check-out, us to go shopping and I would return later to check-out and leave. The chaos in reception led me to change my plans. The girl behind reception checking us out appears to have had no training whatsoever and was constantly asking other staff for help, adding even more delay. In the end, it took almost an hour!!!!! I have never, ever, ever experienced a delay like this in all my life, even at the lowliest Travelodge!! It, frankly, soured the whole experience.

Overall, a good hotel trying to be a fantastic one. It manages in parts and fails in others.

Room Tip: Ask for an ocean view room, high up.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheEmpireHotel, General Manager at The Empire Hotel & Country Club, responded to this review, December 31, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your detailed report, which I have taken careful note of.

I apologise for the unacceptable shortcomings you experienced, particularly the delays on check-in and check-out.

We will strive to improve on these and I do hope you will return in the future, when a noticeable improvement should be evident.

Sincerely,
Nigel Badminton
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2013 via mobile

I stay for a night of 2 rooms. Check in 23/12. The check in was late. Actually was 2pm, but room still not available at that time. They had to change to other rooms because room allocated was not ready? Can you believe it, even after 2pm. At night around 2300hrs, the aircon motor was faulty. Had to change our room. How well do they maintain? So had to pack and unpack again. Overall was satisfactory.

  • Stayed December 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheEmpireHotel, General Manager at The Empire Hotel & Country Club, responded to this review, December 31, 2013
Dear Mr. Rashid,

I am so sorry you had a delayed check-in and were inconvenienced by having to change your bedroom at 11pm.

Your comments have been taken seriously and I have taken them up with the respective department heads, to make the necessary improvements.

I hope you will return, when a warm welcome awaits you.

Sincerely,
Nigel Badminton
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
44 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2013

The hotel is only a 15-20 min fixed price taxi from the airport and about the same into BSB.
If you like massive new build hotels with lots of marble and gold paint then this is right up your street. For us it was quite gaudy, lacking any real charm.
The room and bathroom were both a good size, the bed comfortable and when we arrived late at night we appreciated the filled ice bucket, a nice touch. The issues are really all outside the room and are a symptom of the scale.
The beach and gardens are nice but very sculpted and a little lacking in charm, particularly when facing the hotel which is huge and quite ugly.
The service ranged from excellent to ridiculous with the latter again a symptom of size and a lack of internal coordination. Having been told (rather rudely) the restaurant we wanted was full we went along to find it was practically empty and remained so whilst we were there. As it happens the food we had then was excellent although it was a guest chef. Other meals were pleasant without really wowing us. This service experience contrasted heavily with the excellent greeting we got when arriving in the early hours of the morning.
Our main recommendation would be to organise a driver for a few hours, get away from the hotel and go visit the city. The boat trip up the river and back for 1.5 hrs was fun and we got to see proboscis monkeys. It's not quite comparable with the kinabatangan river elsewhere on Borneo but it gives you a good taste of it. The city, village on the river and the mosques are interesting and impressive too.
If we could we'd give the hotel 3.5, but considering it's not that pretty combined with mixed service we felt rounding down was more appropriate.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheEmpireHotel, General Manager at The Empire Hotel & Country Club, responded to this review, December 31, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your constructive review and I will certainly take your observations on the decor into consideration for the future.

I apologise for the inconvenience you were caused by the poor internal coordination and we are working to improve on this.

Sincerely,
Nigel Badminton
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2013

This is an incredibly grand resort. I was there mainly for business but the facilities are perfect for relaxing in between work. The small beach was beautiful and everywhere was filled with lush green trees and gardens. I didn't have a sea view room but I wish i did. The resort is large so breakfast is served in the main lobby which is a short 5 minute walk from the bedrooms, however, the hotel drivers are great and can take you around in their carts. I think hospitality needs to impove for such a great hotel. The rooms were incredibly spacious and comfortable. The hotel staff are polite but at times there was a lack of service in the lobby area. Hotel cars are really good and I used them for airport transfers. I hope to return there one day.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheEmpireHotel, General Manager at The Empire Hotel & Country Club, responded to this review, December 31, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience on your stay.

I am pleased that, overall, you enjoyed your visit. We are certainly working to improve the hospitality we offer to our guests, which I agree is important, given the size of the property.

Sincerely,
Nigel Badminton
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2013

We always stayed here everytime we visit Brunei Darussalam. The hotel is very majestic, the room was very spacious, free wifi in the room for club member with free one activity (kayak/bowling/cycling etc). There are two main problems with this hotel; the staffs are not friendly, not helpful, grumpy looking, not efficient and the other problem is breakfast does not meet the 5 star luxury hotel. Management of the hotel should do something about the staffs and the breakfast.

  • Stayed October 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheEmpireHotel, General Manager at The Empire Hotel & Country Club, responded to this review, December 31, 2013
Dear Guest,

It is with regret that I read your comment and I am sorry that you were disappointed with the approach of our staff and the breakfast on your recent visit.

I can assure you that we will make every effort to improve in the future and I hope you will find an improvement on your return.

Sincerely,
Nigel Badminton
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2013

We stayed at the Deluxe room for 3 nights. Comfortable fluffy beds, marbled bathroom, and complimentary shoe shine! The rooms are spacious and a sense of luxury. You could basically do little runs in the shower. The bathtub is huge and intimate.

We loved the rooms but the hospitality of the people there were not the makings of a 6-star hotel. I would expect them to be above par. But did not feel welcome when talking to the reception nor when i was discussing the time for my shoe shine.

We had breakfast in bed - english i believe. Waste of money. I could get the same food from a motel and I've had better. I guess there's nothing else near it as it is quite far away from the city center so they could monopolize that.

But i must say try their cafe Zest. Amazingly cheap dessert. Love the lime tart although i don't like sour desserts. Definitely worth having and relaxing at their lounge area.

Another thing you might want to consider, Bruneian citizens get a cheaper rate. So if you know any Bruneians get them to book the room for you.
In addition, it's cheaper on the the weekend than the weekday - (i know right?!)

Overall, the room quality brings it from an average rating to a very good.
I'd stay here again as i can see this is the only 5 star hotel in the country worth staying.

Room Tip: Take the wing room - building attached to the main hotel. Don't take the ones you'll have to...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheEmpireHotel, General Manager at The Empire Hotel & Country Club, responded to this review, December 31, 2013
Dear Mr. Yee,

Thank you for your compliments and constructive feedback, all of which is appreciated.

I am sorry you were disappointed by Reception's handling off your shoe shine request and the room service breakfast. These concerns have been addressed and we will be introducing a new and improved room service menu in the New Year.

I look forward to welcome you back to The Empire on your next visit to Brunei.

Sincerely,
Nigel Badminton
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about The Empire Hotel & Country Club

Address: Jerudong, Kampong Jerudong BG3122, Brunei Darussalam
Location: Brunei Darussalam > Brunei-Muara District > Kampong Jerudong
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 hotels in Kampong Jerudong
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Empire Hotel & Country Club 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on the north eastern tip of Borneo on the doorstep of one of Asia's oldest rainforests, The Empire Hotel & Country Club is Brunei’s most prestigious beach resort offering unsurpassed 5-star luxury.This palatial resort hotel, which astounds visitors with its spectacular 12 storey marble and gold lobby, is set in its own private 180-hectare (445 acres) estate of manicured gardens and an 18-hole, floodlit Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course and Country Club. Each of the hotel’s 522 opulently appointed guest rooms, suites and private villas has a view of the ocean, lagoon, gardens or golf course, while standard throughout the hotel are Imperial king-sized beds made with the finest linens, and over-sized marble bathrooms with walk-in shower, deep soaking tub with gold taps and luxury amenities. The Empire Hotel & Country Club also extends the kingdom’s regal hospitality with an impressive range of international restaurants, spa, world-class golf and sporting activities, and international meeting facilities for top level MICE gatherings, making it a resort ideal for family, romantic or business vacations. The Empire Hotel & Country Club is a member of WORLDHOTELS and recipient of numerous prestigious international awards. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Empire Hotel And Country Club
Empire Hotel Brunei

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